Summary Care Record
Residents in Wiltshire are being asked if they want a new health record intended to help in unscheduled, emergency and out of hours situations.
Letters will be sent to adults in Wiltshire from 16 April 2012, telling people about this national scheme which puts a summary of patients’ medications, allergies and any previous adverse reactions to drugs onto a centrally held computer system.
Known as the Summary Care Record (SCR), the record will be used by doctors and nurses to make decisions when the GP’s record is not available, saving time for patients and clinical staff alike and helping clinicians make the right decisions for patients.
Doctors, nurses and other clinicians are already successfully viewing SCRs in many parts of the country. If a person agrees to have a SCR, they don’t need to reply to the letter. Patients attending an A&E department or Out of Hours service must be asked permission for a doctor or nurse to view the SCR and if the record is accessed without permission (perhaps if the patient was unconscious), an alert is generated and investigated by NHS Wiltshire, the organisation responsible for GP care provision. Alerts are generated for all accesses and a proportion where permission has been given will be audited.
‘Smartcards’ with chip and pin technology and pre-defined access rights are being issued to NHS professionals who may need to use the new record. Each card is unique to an individual and that person must have a justifiable reason for viewing the SCR. Other extensive security arrangements have been put in place and the Summary Care Record is now considered more secure than internet banking.
Those people who don’t want to take part in the scheme can simply ‘opt out’ by completing the form which accompanies the letter and returning it to the address provided or dropping it into their GP surgery. SCRs will be automatically created for children, so Parents or Guardians of children under 16 may wish to discuss the Summary Care Record with them and complete the opt out form on their behalf if they wish.
Patients should have received a ‘patient pack’ through the post, although we do have to appreciate that some may go astray or be delivered to an old address if your GP’s records have not been updated. PDFs of all the documents are available: